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UP government to auction land for data centres near Jewar airport

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The Uttar Pradesh government is looking to generate more than Rs 300 crore from an auction of five plots for data centres near the upcoming Jewar airport.

These plots are part of a 100-acre data centre park planned by the state government-run Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (Yeida).

The UP government aims to establish three data centre parks where it is expecting investments of Rs 20,000 crore. The one in Jewar is the first of these planned facilities.

“The investment explosion across the Indian data centre market over the past few years has been long overdue. Of these markets, in the NCR, Noida has proven popular for data centre development. The state government’s push towards the sector is likely to accelerate the sector’s growth,” said Vivek Dahiya, managing director & head of Asia Pacific data centre advisory team at Cushman & Wakefield.

Of the five plots on offer, three are of 20,000 square metres, one of 40,000 square metres and the other of 1,25,660 square metres.

“The Government of India is taking positive steps to protect Indian data and formulating policies on priority to ensure that data remain within the country. Expectations are high for a substantial increase in investments in this sector in the coming years, with data storage needs projected to exceed 2,000 MW IT load capacity by fiscal year 2025,” said Amit Sarin, managing director at real estate developer Anant Raj Ltd.Anant Raj plans to develop 300 MW of data centres across Manesar, Rai and Panchkula in Haryana over the next four–five years.The UP government has said that due to the Yeida data centre park’s proximity to the upcoming Jewar airport, International Film City, Yamuna Expressway and Buddha Circuit, those setting up industrial units will get benefits of better connectivity and the planned pod transit system, among others.

According to international best practices, the location of a data centre should preferably be within 5–6 kilometres of an airport, said experts.

“I hope the government has taken this into consideration to make the area the next DC hub. To attract further investments in data centres, besides land, state governments should also highlight how much and how easily power would be made available for the sites being auctioned. Such power should be available through two distinct sources and have the ability to further expand in the future,” Dahiya said.

India witnessed transactions of over 500 acres of land for data centre developments in 2022. As much as 45% of these were in Mumbai, followed by Hyderabad (26%) and Pune at (14%).

Companies that acquired land in 2022 at multiple cities included AdaniConnex, NTT, Nxtra, CapitaLand, and WebWerks.

Considering the proliferation of internet usage and the advent of 5G, IoT, and AI, India’s data centre market is primed for rapid expansion. Around 250 MW of additional data centre capacity is expected to come online in 2023, taking the total colocation capacity to 1.15 GW.

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